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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vintage Alphabet 'A'

A is for APRON.

  Everybody remembers Mom's or Grandma's aprons. Some were utilitarian cotton half aprons or smocks in pretty pronts or solid colors. Some were used only for special occasions in holiday motifs and fabrics of organza or satin. The use of the apron didn't just start in the 40's though. Aprons have been used since the 12 century. They were very utilitarian, used by tradesman and domestic help. By the late 17th -18th century the apron became more femanine and frilly. Fashioned more for the lady and domestic help of the house. There was an old wives tale from this time period that goes....'your beau is thinking of you if your apron becomes untied and drops to the floor.' Pretty risque for the prim and proper Quaker and  beginning of the Victorian era, but  by the 19th century aprons became once again plain and utilitarian. It wasn't until the 1930's that aprons saw a resurgence with bright sashes and beautiful prints. Feed , flour, seed, and sugar sacks were all created in a variety patterns and colors with the homemaker in mind. They knew they would be used to create the whimsicle, colorful aprons we prize today.  It was also during the 30's that crocheted aprons came into fashion for special occasions. During the 40's the half apron gained popularity and the use of hankies embellished those stylish creations. In the 50's plastic, or oilcloth, arpons joined the homemakers apron collection. Cross-stitch patterns were in such vogue embroidery transfers were readily available  During the late 50's to early 1960 how could we  forget June Cleaver with her fashionable kitchen ensemble. There was even one with matching dish towel and oven mitt. It was 1960 that half aprons were accented by hand towels and curtain material. By the late 60's and early 70's smock aprons were very popular, but with the advent of women' lib in the 70's the lowly apron represented women's servititude. Those apron strings. those ties that bind, were cut.  Fast forward 30 years and many stained frocks later, the apron has found a new popularity.  Today the apron has seen a quick rise in popularity once again, but not only do we prize our vintage finds, but also new designs that are vintage inspired. We wear them proudly not only in the kitchen, but in the garden, in classrooms, at sales counters, and even as fashion accents. There is a  new 'apronation'(C) on the horizon. Whether new or vintage the apron is not only seen as utilitarian, but quite fashionable.
Here are a few examples of  vintage aprons.

This is the beginning of a crocheted apron from the 30's I'll be finishing.
I hand- embroidered and embellished this 1950's beauuty.

This 1940's Souvinir Apron was all the rage.

 I recreated this 1930-40 flour sack apron into an apron for a new Mom with the hand-embroidered Bunny, which was a vintage transfer from my collection.......hhmmmm do I have a 'T' item for next Octobers Vintage Alphabet Post?.....

This wonderful 1930's apron was a real  find. It still has it's flocking and glitter. I added the vintage buttons.
The apron below is a perfect example of a 1960's Dish Towel Apron. Of course I hand-embroidered the faded flowers to make them pop again.

These next two pics are piles of aprons waiting to be recreated. As you can see my hoop is around one of the hankies that accents this 1940's apron

Hand-appliques created using roses cut from a  tablecloth accent this 1940's apron

I love this little girls apron I found. Gingham is one of my favorite materials.
And, this black 1950's apron was a real find that I finished.

These are just area few of my aprons. You can find these and others aprons on  my website and at Etsy.

Now for some more fun. Lets see your vintage 'A' finds. Just do a post on your blog with pics of your can be as long or short as you want....and click on Mister Linky and you'll be linked to my site and others can visit! It's as easy as that.


Shirley said...

I love all of your aprons. My mother in law had all kinds and like a dummy I didn't keep them, but sold them in a garage sale. Oh well I will do better another day because I still have some of her patterns that she used to make them. I have been reading blogs tonight to take my mind off of the problems we are having with hubby.
We are having problems with his blood sugar right now. It was way to low tonight. I may not get to play with the alphabet at the moment. I did the secret valentine swap and I need to get it mailed. You take care. Your Missouri Friend

ByLightOfMoon said...

I collect aprons also, I will have to get them all photographed but my frstyfrolk Vintage Etsy shop's header is my clothesline of a few of them.

My Blog is ByLightOfMoon which has a link to my etsy shops, both handmade and vintage. I am very far behind on my handmade due to family illness. Better soon!
Smiles, Cyndi

Beansieleigh said...

I did my post on aprons too! Hope it shows up on Mr. Linky, assuming I did it correctly!.. Your collection is beautiful, Melody! Looking forward to "B", next time around! ~tina

Debbi said...

love your collection Melody, thanks for hosting this fun party!

steve said...

What an awesome collection of aprons Melody! We just love vintage aprons...they are the best!

Cinderella Moments said...

Great job!

Shirley said...

My clip art comes from Vintage Holiday Art that I have on my blog. Just click on it and it will take you to their sight. It is the one that I like the best. We are having snow flurries tonight. Take care shirley

Niesz Vintage Home said...

I just love your collection of aprons!
And I was able to pop around and see some of the other "A" collectibles, too. :-)

I missed out on this fisrt letter, but I'm getting ready for the next.
hmmmmm...B....blues, baubles, brooches, birds,....


black eyed susans kitchen said...

Melody, Your aprons are wonderful!! I can't believe that I missed your vintage alphabet event. When are doing B...I will be there.
♥, Susan